Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.


Homemade Soft Tortillas (in which I combine cooking with a good forearm workout)

I don’t consider myself to be an awesome cook (I’m too impatient to try complicated-looking recipes), but this recipe for easy flour tortillas hit the ball out of the park. Kenny was very impressed by my cooking skills with this project.

He was also impressed by the muscle definition in my arms that resulted from this cooking adventure.

I found the recipe here on Talia Christine’s blog and am reposting it with my notes, if you would also like to combine delicious food with an energizing workout.

Easy Flour Tortillas

3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4-6 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
about 1 1/4 cups warm water (you may not need all of it)

Mix ingredients together until dough is smooth and elastic. I used my Kitchenaid because I knew I’d need to save my strength for what was yet to come.

Split dough into 12 sections, or, if you’re only feeding two, I suggest you make a half-batch and split it into 6 sections. I guess I should have mentioned that before you get to this point, huh? Here’s hoping you read ahead first.

Sprinkle with flour and do some preliminary arm stretches. No one likes pulled muscles, so safety should be your first priority! Goggles are optional.

Here comes the workout. With your rolling pin, flatten each tortilla until it is about the thickness of a dime. My tortillas were about 12″ in diameter. Sprinkle with flour (and underneath) whenever things get too sticky. Do six reps of this exercise, one for each tortilla.

You can sort of see how thin I flattened the dough here. My tortillas were almost transparent, but they were surprisingly strong and I could pick them up and move them around without any breakage. I played with my food a little because I got sick of exercise about halfway through. Also important: hydrate yourself. Not the tortillas, because that would make a sticky mess, but take care of your body by replenishing all those fluids you’ll sweat out.

Note to self: keep the comments about sweat to a minimum when explaining recipes in the future.

Once you have them all rolled out, heat your frying pan up to medium heat as you slowly cool down your arms with gentle exercises. No oil or spray is needed on the pan, but if you want to oil up those newly defined muscles, be my guest.

When your pan is hot, place the tortilla on the pan (bet you saw that one coming!)

Cook the first side until it gets bubbly like this, and then flip it over and cook the other side. Don’t strain yourself after that vigorous workout. I found that the first side of the tortilla took about 1 minute to cook and the second side took about 30 seconds, but it could vary for you.

And that’s it! Seriously easy. These were very soft and pliable and delicious.

The night I made these, Kenny and I had regular tacos with ground beef, but we went a little crazy with the leftover tacos the next night: egg tacos! I fried up some potatoes and onions and scrambled eggs, and we each added our favorite toppings like chipotle mayo, green peppers, cheese, salsa, and salt and pepper.

My husband was very hungry, so he was moving quite quickly at this point (as evidenced by the photo).

Yes, it’s easier to purchase some pre-made tortillas, but where’s the fun in that? And if I, a non-cook, can do this, you definitely can. Dig out that shortening and flour. Go.

Besides, who can’t use a good arm workout now and then?